November 7, 2013

Depressed or not? It depends what you read

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 5:26 pm

In 2011, we were still wondering whether the Dutch population was happy or not. On the list of world’s happiest countries in 2012 and 2013 (PDF) the Netherlands was fourth. However, researchers at University of Queensland in Australia have recently mapped the rates of depression around the world, and some results are surprising:

“The burden is highest in Afghanistan and in Middle Eastern and North African countries, as well as in Eritrea, Rwanda, Botswana, Gabon, Croatia, the Netherlands (!) and Honduras.”

I didn’t add the exclamation mark. Apparently, there are no obvious reasons why the Dutch population is depressed, only guesses: the weather (what about Belgium, the UK, etc.), going through a crisis (stress), not admitting you’re actually depressed (shame) and my personal favourite, readily available antidepressants to anybody feeling a bit blue. If 16% of the Dutch population is depressed and possibly on drugs to ‘feel’ happy, then yes, that’s depression, not happiness.

And actually since all of this is opinion and the research was not a survey of how people feel, the exclamation mark seems warranted.

(Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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August 9, 2011

Really happy or just faking it? A depressed country

Filed under: Health,Science,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:10 pm

In a country where Dutch women don’t get depressed, the Netherlands regularly tops the world’s happiest nations and Dutch kids are happy because they’re egocentric, major depression is on the rise, putting the Netherlands at the top of the most depressed countries in the world.

According to a study sponsored by the World Health Organization, more people have reported being depressed in the Netherlands than anywhere in the world, according to interviews of more than 69,000 people in 18 countries.

Researchers took into account both clinical depression, a biological condition that leads to low self-esteem and loss of interest in otherwise enjoyable activities, and types of mild depression, which can be situational or caused by environmental influences. The latter was likely the cause of higher rates in the Netherlands, US and France

The report also found that women were twice as likely to experience depression, and the strongest link to depression was separation or divorce from a partner.

Recap: the kids are happy because they are highly individualistic, the nation ‘says’ it’s happy year in year out, but people are apparently suffering from depression in a dark corner somewhere. Group therapy, anyone? And handing out all those anti-depressants like bonbons is not the answer, dear doctors.

(Link:, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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August 2, 2010

World full of misery — theme park seen through a different lens

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 8:16 am

The Efteling is one of the oldest theme parks in the world, and generally the happiest place on earth (or at least of the country), but not today.

VPRO’s Dorst made a silly little photo strip that shows the tired and weary of a theme park. Do check out their other stuff (previous and next are vorige and volgende in Dutch) but take care, because some of it is NSFW.

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